HONOLULU – Casey K. Umetsu, Sr., 40, of Honolulu, Hawaii, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Jill A. Otake to sabotaging his former employer’s computer network. Sentencing is set for January 19, 2023.
According to court documents and information presented in court, Umetsu worked as an information technology professional for a major Hawaii-based financial company between 2017 and 2019. In this role, Umetsu was responsible for the administration of the computer network of company and assistance to other employees. technological problems. As part of his guilty plea, Umetsu admitted that shortly after severing all ties with the company, he accessed a website the company used to manage its internet domain. After using his former employer’s credentials to access company configuration settings on this website, Umetsu made numerous changes, including deliberately diverting web and email traffic to unaffiliated computers to the business, preventing the company’s web presence and email. Umetsu then extended the outage for several days by taking various measures to prevent the company from accessing the website. Umetsu admitted causing the damage as part of a scheme to convince the company to rehire him at a higher salary.
“Umetsu criminally abused special access privileges granted to him by his employer to disrupt his network operations for personal gain,” said U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors. “Those who compromise the security of a computer network – whether government, commercial or personal – will be investigated and prosecuted, including technology personnel whose access was granted by the victim.”
“This is a great example of a company partnering and working with the FBI to catch a former employee who sabotaged their network for their own personal gain,” said Steven Merrill, FBI Special Agent in Charge. “We encourage companies to include the FBI in their cybersecurity incident plan so that we can assist them in the event of a computer incident.”
Umetsu faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a probation sentence of up to 3 years. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This conviction is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebecca A. Perlmutter and Wayne A. Myers are handling the prosecutions.